Language and Translation Policies Toward Minority Languages in China and the USA

  • Duoxiu QianEmail author
  • Shuang Li
Reference work entry


The language and translation policies of a country address issues far beyond language, and history has proved the truism of “War is what happens when language fails.” As the world we are living in is facing many choices when it is marching into a future of challenges and uncertainty brought about partly by the communication and integration of people speaking different languages, this issue is of unprecedented relevance. A comparative study of the language policy and translation policy in different countries and how they are implemented to serve their intended purposes can help countries to learn from each other by providing insights for sustainable policy-making and guarantee the effective implementation of these policies for purposes such as safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The present paper intends to conduct a comparative study of this between China and the USA, the two largest economies of the world. It starts with a brief historical review of the evolution of language and translation policies in the two countries, marked by multilingualism or monolingualism, accommodation or assimilation, or a combination of the two, based on the political and economic situations of a given period. The historical lessons help to formulate the present-day policies. It is followed by a detailed comparative observation of the language and translation policy-making and implementation at different levels and in different settings in the two countries. This examination, hopefully, can help future policy-makers to make well-informed choices concerning language and translation when facing new challenges. Some suggestions for theoretical studies along different lines are also provided at the end.


Language policy Translation China The USA Comparison 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beihang UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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